The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Sports Car

There’s a lot to weigh when it comes to buying a used sports car. Are you looking for something with plenty of power? Or is handling prowess more of a concern? Will the sports car be a weekend toy or your primary daily driver?

Either way, there are plenty of things to consider before buying a sports car, including the general pros and cons. Here are some of the major points to consider.

The pros of buying a sports car

Ferrari F430 Spyder at Miami Auto Show, one of five collector cars Hagerty says is losing value
Ferrari F430 Spyder | Victor Malafronte/Getty Images

There are many pros when it comes to buying a sports car. However, most of them are superficial. Let’s face it, a two-door sports car – especially one without a back seat – is not very practical. So, you’re only buying it for two good reasons – speed and flashy looks. Here are some other pros:

  • Fewer tailgaters: According to Hot Cars, driving a sports car will lead to fewer tailgaters. How? If anyone tailgates you in a sports car, you should have enough power to get away from them easily. As long as the road conditions permit it.
  • Outstanding looks: Part of the reason you buy a sports car like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or even a Toyota GR86 is for its outstanding looks. And you’ll get to show off those looks to everyone every day.
  • Prestige: Whether you own a fancy Ferrari or a more obtainable Honda S2000, there’s a good chance that you’ll get a lot of respect at your local Cars and Coffee car show. Just don’t expect Vin Diesel levels of respect, though.
  • Exhilaration: There’s almost nothing better than waking up in the morning, firing up a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and going for a drive. The main highlight is the acceleration and thrill of driving a sports car.

The cons of buying a sports car

A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership.
A customer checks out a used Corvette at a dealership. | Getty Images

Just like anything else in life, for every pro to buying a sports car, there’s a con. Here are a few cons to buying a sports car and driving it every day.

  • Terrible fuel economy: While some sports cars today use hybrid powertrains to save fuel, many do not. If you’re planning to buy something like an Audi R8 or even a Ford Mustang GT, you can look forward to obtaining around 20 mpg on average – maybe less.
  • Sports cars can be uncomfortable: Although sports cars like the Chevy Camaro or the Mazda MX-5 Miata might feel comfortable driving for a short period, they can get uncomfortable quickly. Long road trips or sitting in traffic can easily take a toll when you’re making the trek in a sports car.
  • Maintenance can be pricey: Depending on the type of sports car you buy, you can look forward to a heftier repair and maintenance bill. Even simple oil changes on cars like a BMW M3 can cost upwards of $200 per visit at a dealership.
  • Police magnets: While it may or may not be true that police are more attracted to sports cars, you still run the risk of speeding and getting caught more often. Remember that quick acceleration? It can cost you more than you bargained for in the form of a speeding ticket.
  • Hard-earned miles: If you’re buying a used sports car with high mileage, the car was likely driven hard through all those years. The car’s engine, suspension, and tires could be well-worn and require major repairs.

Be careful when buying a used sports car

Cool and cheap cars like this Lotus Elise punch well above their weight.
Lotus Elise | National Motor Museum via Getty Images

While you can easily find many used sports cars selling for far less than what they originally cost, you should always be careful. That low price could mean that major repairs are lurking underneath the sheet metal or within the engine. Always get a pre-purchase inspection to ensure you know what you’re buying.  

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